Chapter 10 : Progress in the Molecular Medicine of Cancer

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Cancer is a formidable challenge, and one should have no illusions that major breakthroughs in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease will come easily. Nevertheless, several converging lines of research are providing exciting new opportunities for clinical application. Some of these areas are summarized in this chapter. The goal is to identify a few areas in which the molecular foundations of oncology are supporting ideas that are likely to have clinical ramifications in the near future. The molecular dissection of colon cancer continues to provide new insights into the cascade of genetic events that lead to full-blown malignant transformation. Microsatellite alterations are associated with small-cell lung cancer, head and neck tumors, bladder cancer, and most likely other tumors as well. Diseases targeted for innovative trials of cytokine gene-transfected tumor cells include breast, ovarian, renal, and colon cancers, and development of their use against melanoma continues. The suicide vector model serves as one template for further development in other cancers as well, especially those compartmentalized in relatively sequestered sites, e.g., intraperitoneal ovarian cancer or primary central nervous system lymphoma, an opportunistic cancer associated with AIDS. Molecular medicine continues to uncover the broad principles that govern the interplay between internal and external factors that modulate net gene expression and cellular function for many cell types. If the tradition of excellence and the balance between creativity and scientific rigor exemplified by the work of Howard Temin is maintained, progress against cancer is assuredly made.

Citation: Broder S. 1995. Progress in the Molecular Medicine of Cancer, p 129-152. In Cooper G, Temin R, Sugden B (ed), The DNA Provirus. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818302.ch10
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